Home > Forever and Always (Forever and Always #2)(2)

Forever and Always (Forever and Always #2)(2)
E.L. Todd

“You are so beautiful,” he said. “I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before.”

My cheeks blushed from his comment. I was wearing a baggy sweatshirt and my hair was in a loose braid. I knew I was a mess.

“Tell me why you don’t want to come home with me,” he said as he stood in front of me. He held my hand in his own and caressed my fingers. “We don’t have to live together. I just assumed that we would—I want to. I’m with you all the time anyway.”

I smiled at him. “I would love to live with you.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I—I ignored Ryan for the past year and made no effort to stay in contact with him. When I came back to Seattle, I saw how much that hurt him. He has been spending the holidays with friends—sometimes alone—and now that we’re together again, everything is better. I—I don’t know if I can leave him again.”

Sean sighed. “We will both make an effort to stay in touch with him, Scarlet. I’ll remind you to call him every day. And I don’t mind spending the holidays with him. He can even come to my family estate in Connecticut—he’s my family, too.”

“I don’t think Ryan would accept that,” I whispered. “And it isn’t the same. It’s impossible to stay close when you’re on opposite ends of the country. Without mutual experiences, you run out of things to discuss—you don’t connect. My brother is the one who took care of me and got me back on my feet, despite what I did to him. I won’t do it again. I can’t leave him, Sean.”

“Do you feel this way because of guilt or desire?” he asked. “Would you rather stay with him?”

I thought for a moment. “I don’t want to leave him.”

Sean sighed. “My job is in New York. I can’t just leave it. I have no idea if I could even find a job here in Seattle.”

“I know,” I whispered. “We can do long-distance. We can take turns flying back every weekend.”

Sean dropped my hand and stepped back. “Until when?” he asked. “I want to marry you at some point. We are going to have to make a compromise eventually. Ryan can take care of himself—he understands that you have to move on with your life.”

His comment about marriage made my heart flutter. “You want to marry me?”

Sean smiled at me. “I’m sorry if I didn’t make that clear,” he said. “I want to be with you for always. Does it change anything? Will you move to New York with me?”

“Let me think about it,” I said.

“For how long?” he asked sadly.

“A few weeks,” I answered.

“So, I won’t see you for five days every week?” he asked. “That sounds terrible.”

“It’ll be okay,” I said. “It’s temporary. I’ll make a decision eventually.”

“What other option do we have? You either move to New York or you don’t.”

“You could come here,” I suggested.

“And work where?” he asked.

“We would figure it out,” I said. “I could support us until you find something.”

Sean sighed. “I appreciate that, but I will never let you support me—ever. I refuse to let that happen.”

I rolled my eyes. He reminded me of Cortland in that respect.

“I caught that,” he said. “I’m sorry I’m being difficult, but I want this to work. I was looking forward to being with you.”

“I’m being difficult, too,” I said. “Just give me some time. Let Ryan get used to the idea of me leaving.”

“So, you are moving then?” he asked happily.

“I—I don’t know.”

Sean’s smiled dropped. “I am willing to do a long-distance relationship—anything—to be with you. But I want to live with you soon. We are going to have to figure it out.”

“I understand,” I said. “Just give me some time. Maybe there is a way I can still see Ryan periodically.”

Sean sighed. “Since I’m the one that fucked this up and drove you away, I’ll be patient. This wouldn’t be happening if I wasn’t such an idiot.”

“I forgive you, Sean—let’s just forget about it.”

“I don’t deserve you.”

I grabbed his face and kissed him gently and his lips ignited a fire within me. His lips felt right against mine and I knew I was meant for him—we were perfect together. I pulled away from him. “I love you so much,” I whispered.

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